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The southern region of Tasmania is a spectacle of natural beauty. At the forefront of this gorgeous area is the city of Hobart. With a rich maritime history and a lovely deep-water port, Hobart is known throughout Australia and the South Pacific as a tranquil city with gorgeous sights and engaging activities. This is the capital of Tasmania and the second oldest city in the state. Straddling the Derwent River and set right in front of Mount Wellington, Hobart's location could not be more ideal. The city was founded in 1804, and it has experienced its share of ups and downs since. Currently, the city is quietly becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in greater Australia. Tasmania is the only island state that is owned by Australia, and the culture of Hobart greatly differs from that of the mainland.
 
Hobart's population is 185,000, and the locals adore their city by the sea. It is free of pollution, there is never any traffic congestion, and the community is close-knit and has a very low crime rate. The temperature here is fabulous all year long, and the harbor is the only area in town that is fast-paced and busy. Every day, items are being imported and exported around the clock, and it is busiest during the fall when apple season is in full effect. The apples here are delightful, and annually Hobart exports tons to Australia, New Zealand, and the rest of the world. There are a number of great restaurants and fine shopping facilities in the city, and if you enjoy marvelous seafood, you have come to the right place. The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery is a stunning establishment, loaded with extravagant paintings and gorgeous works of art. Golfing here is a tremendous experience, and the nightlife is relatively tame yet still quite enjoyable.
 
Docking & Local Transportation
Cruise ships dock at Macquarie Wharf on the southeast part of the city. There are multiple piers in this area.  The Hobart Cruise Terminal is located on Macquarie Wharf No. 2, A shuttle may be provided to take you a little bit closer to town if you're docked further out. Taxis will be waiting at the dock to take you to your destination in Hobart.
 
There are several ways of travelling to and from the Hobart Cruise Terminal. It is within walking distance of all main transport services.
 
Car hire services should be booked in advance and are available for pick-up outside the terminal. Several cruise lines operate tour bus services from the terminal, ensuring easy access to Hobart CBD and other areas.
 
Hobart is quite compact, so most of your traveling can be done on foot. However, there is bus service in Hobart, and a few taxi services. For a taxi pickup, contact City Cabs Cooperative (03/131-008). If you'd like to rent a car while in Hobart, contact Thrifty Rent-A-Car (03/6234-1341) and they'll be happy to assist you.
 
Things To See and Do
Visit the Tasmania Travel & Tourism Centre tourist office at the corner of Davey and Elizabeth Streets, three blocks from Macquarie Wharf, and pick up a map that shows points of interest. You'll also find a self-guided walking route that includes Franklin Square, Parliament House and Square, St. David's Park, Battery Point historic residential neighborhood and Kelly's Steps to Salamanca Square.
 
The Maritime Museum of Tasmania offers a good survey of the city's connection to the sea and outside world through paintings, photographs, maps and ship models of early sailing vessels, steam merchant ships, whalers, naval and fishing vessels, and the shipbuilding industry. (Open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission charge; corner of Davey and Argyle Streets.)
 
Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, housed partly in the city's oldest existing building, features aboriginal art and artifacts, colonial era landscape paintings, Huon pine furniture and views of the frozen wilderness continent of Antarctica. (Hobart is a base for Antarctic exploration and studies.) (Open daily except Monday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 5 Argyle Street; free admission.)
 
After a short walk along the harbourfront, you'll find shops selling creative Tasmanian arts and crafts made of wood, ceramic and glass, some with off-island aboriginal designs at Salamanca Place and Salamanca Arts Centre. One block inland is Salamanca Square, where indoor and outdoor breakfast, lunch and dinner places abound in former sandstone port warehouse buildings. Just up the hill, walk the charming and prized residential neighbourhood of Battery Point for a peek at the one- and two-story wrought-iron-fronted row houses and near mansions, as well as examples of more traditional Victorian architecture.
 
Mt. Wellington tops off at 4,176 feet and gives an outstanding view of Hobart, its harbour, the Tasman Peninsula and Derwent Valley. It may seem enshrouded in clouds from the city, though it is not always possible to tell from down below whether the view is worth the drive up. Even if it looks iffy, there are views at lower levels, plus you pass through attractive leafy neighbourhoods and scenic forests. The Mt. Wellington Express operates a shuttle bus from the information centre in the morning and afternoon, allowing 40 minutes of sightseeing at the top.
 
Mona, the Museum for New and Old Art, is considered by some to be a repository of blasphemous exhibits that are openly antireligious or explicitly sexual and don't deserve to be classified as art; others think it's a place of most intriguing installations. It's a three-level underground stone setting that exhibits a waterfall, window displays to peer into, videos on the ceiling to watch while lying on billowing cushions, bas reliefs, statuary and even some traditional art, such a small collection of ancient Egyptian statuettes. The Morilla Estate on which it stands is located about eight miles north of Hobart and occupies a headland peninsula that also offers a microbrewery, a winery, the Source (a top French restaurant), cafe and attractive grounds with a view of the Derwent Valley. Onsite parking is extremely limited, so it is advisable to take the Mona Roma Fast Ferry, a 30-minute ride with six departures a day from the Brooke Street ferry terminal in Hobart. (03 6223 6064; open Wednesday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 655 Main Road, Berridale.)
Cascades Female Factory is a historic site just outside Hobart where up to 1,000 English and Irish women, and in some cases their children, were imprisoned and forced to do hard manual labor. The site, still under archeological study, includes a guided tour with costumed actors who bring alive what life was like within the confines of the buildings. From Hobart, take bus 43, 44, 46 or 49 to stop 16. (Open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission; reservations needed; 16 Degraves Street.)
 
The Cascades Brewery, just a stroll further up the road, is Australia's oldest, established in 1832 and still operating. Cascades Premium is the best-known label, but the brewery also produces soft drinks. Tours last two hours, with the machinery working on weekdays but not weekends. From Hobart, take buses 43, 44, 46 or 49 to stop 18. (Open for daily tours, offered several times a day; 140 Cascade Road.)
 
Richmond, just 20 minutes northeast from Hobart, is a former military post and convict station en route to Port Arthur. It's also a repository of early- to mid-19th-century buildings, which run along its main street. They include the Richmond Goal (1825), Courthouse (1825), Old Post Office (1826), St. Luke's Church of England (1834) and the country's oldest Catholic church, St. John's (1836). When walking north along main street, pass over the oldest (1823) bridge in Australia, a solid stone arch structure that spans the Coal River and was built by convicts. A model of Hobart in the1820's is on display, having been built from the original plans. (Open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission charge; 21a Bridge Street.) Hobart Shuttle Bus Company provides transfers in the morning and afternoon from the Hobart Information Centre.
 
The Bonorong Park Wildlife Center, located on Briggs Road (03/6268-1184), is an extraordinary site full of the indigenous animal and plant life of Tasmania. Since it is only twenty-five minutes from Hobart, you can spend an afternoon seeing all of the exotic creatures, and if you get lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the Tasmanian Devil!
 
The Narryna Heritage Museum at 103 Hampden Rd. (03/6234-2791) is an historic spot that showcases the interior of a beautifully furnished mansion from the 1800s. Inside are exhibits that give details regarding the culture and style of 19th century Tasmania.
 
The Hobart Ghost Tours (03/6234-5068) will take you on an eerie journey through one of Tasmania's oldest penitentiaries. Don't worry, prisoners are not still housed here, but the jail remains a bit frightening nonetheless.
 
Battery Point - A village of workers' cottages and grand houses set in narrow, irregular streets, has hardly changed in the last 150 years.
 
Salamanca Place Explore the historic section of the city on foot and wander over to Salamanca Place, on the docks. There you will find a conglomeration of Georgian style warehouses, dating from 1830-1850, which have been converted to restaurants, galleries, and craft shops. Dont miss the weekend's great, open market, where you can buy excellent arts & crafts, sold by the large population of artisans. Due to the woodworkers, potters, and craftspeople who have settled in rural Hobart, it is surely possible to find handmade wares of outstanding quality. If you miss the weekend market, never fear, you can buy these wares in one of the many permanent gift shops at Salamanca Place.
 
Charlie and the Cadbury Factory Sure to please visitors of all ages, try this boat trip up the river to Claremont. It is one of Hobart’s northernmost suburbs, and home to the Cadbury Factory! It’s a tasting tour with a sweet touch!
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Eating Out
Amulet is known as a great place to dine in Hobart. Located at 333 Elizabeth St., Amulet (03/6234-8113) is a relaxed bistro where the chefs cook up some Australian masterpieces. The Orizuru Sushi Bar is located at the Victoria Dock in Hobart (03/6231-1790) and serves the finest sushi in town. Watch as the talented chefs slice your dinner with the utmost care and scrutiny. Every morsel is absolutely delicious, and the décor of this fabulous Japanese restaurant is so authentic, you will swear that you are having dinner in Tokyo. Cumquat on Criterion at 10 Criterion St. (03/6234-5858) is a lovely restaurant that is open all day. The breakfast specials are excellent, and the more formal dinners are great, as well. Round Midnight & Syrup at 39 Salamanca Pl. (03/6224-8249) is a lively nightclub with a spacious dance floor for you to strut your stuff.Golf
The beautiful weather and picturesque surroundings make Hobart an amazing place to play a round of golf. The most gorgeous course is The Tasmania Golf Club (03/6248-5138). Bordered by water and laced with beautiful trees, the course is challenging yet exhilarating.
 
The waters around Tasmania are rich in seafood, so menu items include oysters, mussels, char-grilled salmon, chili salt squid, seafood risotto with roasted fennel, fish salads with calamari, smoked salmon and brie, and fresh flathead and trevalla, plus an abundance of lamb dishes and Italian food that came with post-WWII Italian immigration.
 
Mures is a family seafood business that operates two restaurants (open continuously from mid-morning until evening) in the same building on Victoria Dock. The moderately-priced Lower Deck has the catch of the day displayed in cases at the counter. Order there, and it will be brought to your table when it's ready. Enjoy fresh raw oysters, scallops, prawns and squid prepared in breadcrumbs, battered or crumbed blue-eyed trevalla. Finish off with a large selection of ice creams at a separate counter. (03 6231 2121; open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00.p.m.)
 
The Upper Deck, the more expensive wait-served restaurant, offers good views of the harbour to patrons while they enjoy Spring Bay mussels with a tomato, chili, garlic lemon sauce; or char-grilled blue eye or salmon with stir-fried rice noodles, vegetables and bean sprouts with a tamarind line dressing. (03 6231 1999; open daily from noon to 10:00.p.m.)
For simpler fare, try Banjos in Salamanca Square for a pepper steak, curried chicken or a variety of meat pies, quiches, vegetable rolls and pizzas. (03 6224 3747; open daily except Sunday from 11:30 a.m.)
 
Shopping
The Constitution and Victoria Docks area offers creative shopping for art, crafts, clothing and souvenirs; light snacks and food; fishing boats; a yacht basin; and the maritime museum. Much of the offerings are housed in the buildings of the former Henry Jones IXL (I excel) Jam Factory.
Gasworks Village is a beautiful shopping complex where you can find wonderful jewelry, fine apparel, high quality furniture, and a wide array of arts and crafts. Sullivan's Cove Sunday Market features all kinds of items from handcrafts to exotic fruits. If you want to experience the culture of Tasmania, this is the best shopping facility in Hobart.
 
Elizabeth St Mall is the outdoor pedestrian mall in the city. There are several shopping centers in this area including the Centro Cat and Fiddle and Centrepoint. There is a Woolworth's at 44 Argyle St (by Liverppol).
Salamanca in the main restaurant and bar neighbourhood. There is a square hidden behind the main road in this area with a 24 hr bakery, Salamanca Bakehouse, for late night meat pies and sausage rolls. The harbour area has plenty of seafood restaurants. There is a market setup on the lawns by the waterfront every Saturday 8:30 to 3pm.
 
If you are in Hobart on a Saturday, don't miss the Salamanca Market, in Salamanca Place -- it's one of the best markets in Australia. Some 200 stalls offer everything from fruit and vegetables to crafts made from pottery, glass, and native woods. The market is open from 8:30am to 3pm.
 
Salamanca Place has plenty of crafts shops that are worth exploring, though the prices sometimes reflect the fashionable area. Pop into the Tasmania Shop & Gallery, 65 Salamanca Place (tel. 03/6223 5022; www.tasmaniashopgallery.com.au). This is a cut above your normal souvenir shop, offering innovative and interesting mementos and artworks by Tasmanian artists and designers, including glassware, textiles, jewelry, and sculptures.
 
There are plenty of other interesting shops and small galleries here and in the surrounding streets. On Hunter Street, on the other side of the marina from Salamanca Place and next to the Henry Jones Art Hotel, you will find Art Mob (tel. 03/6236 9200; www.artmob.com.au), where you can buy Aboriginal fine art at reasonable prices. Director Euan Hills will happily give advice on what you are looking at, without pressure to buy, and will also impart other tips for your stay in Hobart. The gallery specializes in works by Tasmanian Aboriginal artists, including paintings, prints, jewelry, and baskets.

Book Ends -- The best bookshop in town is a beauty; it sells a large range of new and secondhand books, many relating to Tasmania. Find the Hobart Bookshop at 22 Salamanca Sq. (tel. 03/6223 1803). For some good reading on Tasmania, among my favorites is In Tasmania, by Nicholas Shakespeare, a blend of Tasmania's history and future and the author's discovery of his own convict heritage. For a different take on convict history, Closing Hell's Gates: The Death of a Convict Station, by Tasmanian writer Hamish Maxwell-Stewart gives an insight into life on the notorious Sarah Island in Macquarie Harbour. Ronnie, Tasmanian Songman, by Aboriginal elder Ronnie Summers, tells the story of growing up on Cape Barren Island and a life sharing the traditions of Cape Barren music (it comes with a music CD). For those interested in nature, Where to See Wildlife in Tasmania by Dave Watts and Cathie Plowman is an easy to use full-color guide to spotting Tasmania's unique fauna.

 
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